Shortly following President Donald Trump's false claim Monday that his predecessors did not reach out to the families of soldiers killed overseas, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich called the president a "soulless coward" and slammed his remarks as "beyond the pale" in a phone interview with The Nation's Dave Zirin.
Popovich has been outspoken about his disdain for Trump's "disgusting" conduct and actions since he took office, but Zirin writes that he has "never heard this man more frustrated, more fed up, and more tense with anger than he was" following Trump's surprise press conference with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Here are Popovich's comments in full:
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I've been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this president had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families are so beyond the pale, I almost don't have the words.
This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner—and to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers—is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this president should be ashamed, because they know better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.